We were getting ready to tell you all about how you could play Super Mario 64 in your browser… but suddenly, you can’t. Computer science student Erik Roystan Ross released a free, playable recreation of the first level of the classic game, but just days later, Nintendo stepped in with the big N-O.
Ross says in a statement posted to his website:
The project is no longer playable, or downloadable in any form. I received a copyright infringement notice on both the webplayer as well as the standalone builds. Which is fair enough, really. In light of Nintendo recently making a deal to release some of their IPs on mobile platforms, it’s probably not in their best interests to have a mobile-portable version of Mario 64 sitting around. In any case, I didn’t really expect for this project to get so popular, and was hoping it would function primarily as a educational tool and a novelty.
The game – a labour-of-love rendition of the Bob-Omb Battlefield – was only playable in a browser, or on a computer running Windows, Mac or Linux. Ross had made the game available for free, with no intentions of selling the game, but it still rubbed the publisher the wrong way, prompting a DMCA takedown notice:
The copyrighted work at issue is Nintendo’s™ Super Mario 64 video game (US Copyright Reg. No. PA0000788138), including but not limited to the audiovisual work, computer program, music, and fictional character depictions… The website at http://mario64-erik.u85.net/Web.html displays, and allows users to play, an electronic game that makes unauthorized use of copyright-protected features of Nintendo’s Super Mario 64 video game. Nintendo requests that CloudFlare, Inc. immediately disable public access to http://mario64-erik.u85.net/Web.html.
The notice – and the copies referring to the downloadable versions of the game – was passed on to the person hosting Ross’s game as a favour for a friend:
I was hosting this work for a good friend who is an avid fan, and built the project from scratch as a tech demo. As mentioned on the original blog post, and noted in various big name media press below, there is no intention to monetize this, ever.
It’s not the first time Nintendo has cracked down on online fan tributes – the company also has issues with live-streamed Smash Bros tournaments, as well as gamers posting “Let’s Play” videos to YouTube.
If you still wish to play Super Mario 64 – albeit not on your PC – the game is also available via Nintendo‘s Virtual Console service. The mobile projects Ross refers to are very much in the planning stage.